Graham Kavanagh on Berrett and Thirlwell
Manager Graham Kavanagh spoke to us about the contract offers made to midfielders Paul Thirlwell (one year) and James Berrett (two years).
“Paul Thirlwell has been an excellent performer for me when he’s been available,” he said. “He’s a leader and, as we’ve said a number of times, we haven’t had enough of them, in my opinion, this season.
“He’s a very good link between the dressing room and the management team, with regard to raising issues and talking about things on behalf of the players, and he is a very strong character within the group.”
“He has a lot of experience and he uses that for us on the training pitch, around the club and on a match day,” he continued. “Every player who works with him looks up to him because of the professionalism he brings to everything the does.
“He is a huge help with the younger players and he demands things from everyone all the time. You need that type of person because standards have to be high.
“He’s one that can be used in a number of roles, as we’ve seen this year, and he always gives everything when he crosses the white line. He’s a very good player, a strong leader and, hopefully, he’ll be with us when get ready to go again in July.”
“Thir is the type of man who can be utilised in a lot of ways,” he added. “He’s already taken in a few games for us, to scout opposition and players, so it isn’t just the ability to play the game that he brings to the table.
“His knowledge and understanding of the industry as a whole lends itself to other areas that we are looking to utilise as much as we can. We are addressing the scouting structure during the summer months and we want to know that we are dealing with people we know and trust. He falls into that category so, if he stays with us, he will have a big role to play on and off the field.”
“James Berrett is another who has done a few different jobs for me on the pitch this season,” he said. “He’s a very effective midfielder and he’s been asked to play the holding role much more when we’ve gone with three in the middle of the park.
“That has restricted him a little bit but he’s done the job for the team. I know he can play comfortably in a two man midfield, because he’s done that very well for us, and he still manages to get up and down despite the fact there is more work to do in that formation.
“He is one of those players who listens to what he is being asked to do and you know he understands it. He’s at the right age, he’s gained valuable experience with the number of games he’s played for us, and he knows what this club is about.
“He’s another who is good to have around, because of his positive attitude, and we’re hoping we’ll get a positive outcome from the offer we’ve made.”
“We obviously now have to wait and see what these lads decide because, at this stage, they are still looking at the offers they have,” he explained. “I think things are fairly clear with Paul Thirlwell because we know and trust each other.
“He’s already said he’ll be back in pre-season and I have no doubt that will be the case.”
“I’ve put a timeframe on Bez but I won’t say what that is as this stage,” he said. “All it does, if I say what that is, is put pressure on everyone.
“I obviously want to know where I am so that I can target new players accordingly. If he does decide not to accept the offer then I will have to look elsewhere, so I want to give him enough time to think things over and give myself enough time to react, if he does go the other way.
“Other clubs will have done the same as us and they will already know their targets. We don’t want to be too far behind the curve so the sooner I know what these lads want to do the better, as far as I’m concerned.”